Important Notice Regarding Single USB Drives Greater than 2 TB's and WD TV Products

STILL WAITNG FOR THE FIRMWARE UPDATE THAT FIXES THE PROBLEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whats shocking is that its taking this long.  A firmware already got released only showing that the fix wont be coming out for a while or else they could have held back last weeks update to add support for larger harddrives.

 Had my WD 3tb harddrive for months now and its useless still. 

I agree with you WD **bleep** without larger than 2 tb support. And they are doing nothing to fix this, a new firmware is out and it only seems to have more problems than solutions.

What happens if you partition the drive into a 2 & 1 gig partitions before connecting to the player?

I heard this works but sorta to late for that when you have already over 2 TB on that harddrive.

I would like some feedback from WD , on when this problem would be fixed, we are waiting to use our 3tb drive.

WD has said that they are working on this , but until when…

I have several questions for Western Digital, but these are at the end:
(mostly related to huge disks sizes)


Hard disk types defined by me (valid only for this post):

Type I: Disk has 512 hardware sectors, and reports to the OS the correct hardware sector size.
 * the real hardware sector (512) is the same sector size that the OS sees (512).
 * partition alignment is not a problem with these disks.

Type II: Disk has 4096 hardware sectors, but does not report to the OS the correct hardware sector.
 * the real hadware sector (4096) is not the same sector size that the OS sees (still 512)
 * these are the 'Advanced format" drives. The firmware does the ‘magic’
 * for these disks (these are ones being manufactured at this moment and probably for a couple of years) the
   partition aligment is important. The parittions (both MBR or GPT) must be aligned for the disk
   to perform optimally. partitions can be not-aligned, but the disk will be slower.

Type III: Disk has 4096 hardware sectors, and reports to the OS the correct harware sector.
 * these are “FUTURE” disks, they either: do not exists, prototypes may exists or they are not relevant to
   the current discusion/issue. (or simply i don’t kwnow these)
 * partition alignment should not be a problem with these disks (really?)

The Type II is the important one, they are the 4k sector disk of today. 

The disk “HARDWARE SECTOR” must NOT be confused with the filesystem “CLUSTER” or sometimes

also called “filesystem sector” or “allocation unit”  size.
Example: A 512 byte reported hardware sector disk, with 1 MBR partition, formated with NTFS at 4K cluster/sector size

Firmwares:

 WDTV Firmware --> * Defined by WD
                   * Can read both MBR and GPT partitions (in my tests).

 BIOS          --> * can boot disks partitioned with the MBR Partition scheme.
                   * can boot / recognize normally only 512 byte sector disks.

 EFI           --> * can boot disks partitioned with both MBR and GPT Partition scheme.
                   * can boot / recongnize both 512 or 4096 byte sector disks.

MBR Partition scheme:
 * uses lba sector 0
 * has a limitation of 2TB(for 512 byte sector drives) of usable lba sectors.
 * 4 “primary” partitions, more extended partitons can be created inside one of
   the primary ones. But the max total size of every partition cannot exeed 2TB.
 * created/managed with: in linux: fdisk
 * keep in mind that the limit is 2TB with 512 byte sector, that is what the BIOS can
   boot from!!! (with 4k sector, the limit could be surpassed but such disks do not exist/or
   are NOT sold today, AND most BIOS lacks support for 4k disks, use EFI for that)

GPT Partition scheme:
 * uses lba 1,2-33 and also uses the last lba sectors of the disk with a backup of those.
 * keeps a protective mbr at lba 0 for compatibility / protection purposes.
 * can have (normally) 128 primary partitions
 * created/managed with: in linux: gdisk

Operating Systems (terms of partitions (MBR/GPT) and filesystem support):
 * Windows 9X/NT/2K/XP/Vista/7
 * MacOS X
 * Linux 2.6.x

QUIMERAS:
 * “Asus Disk Unlocker” >> no comments, only consider what happens if a poor user puts one

   of those in the WDTVx. (basiacally 2048TB + some weirdo ‘virtual disks’)


I only have 1TB 512-byte and 2TB 4k-byte AdvFor disks, so i cannot test it with a 3TB disk.
I performed a test with a 80GB Passport:
 * using linux’s gdisk: created a single GPT partition of 80GB (all disk) type “linux/windows data”.
 * formated it with ext3 (i know is “unsupported”, but that is what i use for my 2TB diks and the
   WDTV-Live, since day one and just rocks)
 * the wdtv live detects the gpt partition correclty and plays it contents.

So we have these layers (and each layer has it own limits!):

FIRMWARE (BIOS/EFI/WDTVx)
   >> Volume (only meagnifull in case of multi-disks usb-enclosures using some form of raid)   
      >> HDD “Hardware sector” size (real or reported) 
         >> MBR/GPT “Partitions”
            >> Partition’s “Filesystem” (NTFS/xFATx/EXT3) Filesystem “cluster/sector” size

(!) When we consider a “size” “limit”, in which layer is the “limit”?
(!!) There are ways to “negate” the “limit” existence.

These questions are importat because:
 * 3TB will be common next year (i myself will probably buy one)
 * when people ask me about the WDTVs, what they do support what they do not, there
   must be no gray areas. Go buy a 3TB disk or don’t, but i cannot say “well, buy one and try…”

I do own a WDTV Live unit.

Questions for Western Digital (for WDTV/WDTV Live/+/HUB) :

1A - does the wdtv works a 3TB drive partitioned with 2 MBR partitions of 1.5TB each (NTFS)?
1B - does the wdtv works a 3TB drive partitioned with 2 MBR partitions of 1.5TB each (EXT3)?

2A - does the wdtv works a 3TB drive partitioned with 1 GPT partition of 3TB (NTFS)?
2A - does the wdtv works a 3TB drive partitioned with 1 GPT partition of 3TB (EXT3)?

3A - how does the wdtv handle the fact that up to 128 GPT partitions can be defined?
3B - does the UI contemplate such large number of GPT parititions?
3C - and the device remove feature too?

4 - There is an advertised “disabled functionality” in newer WDTVx firmware versions for Advanced
    format drivers grater than 2TB.
4A  what is exacly disabled, taking into acout all explained above?

Unless using some weird hybrid-like MBR/GPT combo, how does one reach a ‘disk corruption’ scenario

so severe that it is necesary to disable any kind of “huge disks with 4k AdvFormat”.

After reading Knowledge Base Answer ID 5875 … i have MUCH more questions and no answer, just the minimal

warning for non-techies.


I am very satisfied with the player, great stuff!, i hope the issue can be solved. 

“What happens if you partition the drive into a 2 & 1 gig partitions before connecting to the player?”

Anyone know if this works for sure? I just bought the WD Live TV and a 3tb WD drive and would like to know for sure before I start loading data. Should I just take the WD Live TV back, is it useless to me at this point??

Thanks

rtguille, why you don’t send this questions directly to WD Tech support? This way you can have a direct answer from them.

To Contact WD for Technical Support
http://support.wdc.com/contact/index.asp?lang=en

@JCinAZ

“What happens if you partition the drive into a 2 & 1 gig partitions before connecting to the player?”

rememer that (“should be” is not the same as “it is”, sadly…)

1 - you can make partitions in two significant ways (MBR/GPT)

    1A: creating a 2TB + 1TB GPT partition “should” work. i do not know how the different widozers handle gpt disks.

2 - there are filesystem size/parameters also, most cases the filesystem will be ntfs (i use linux, so i use ext3 wich is not supported by wd but works). so a 2TB ntfs + 1TB ntfs partition must be created, and i really never used a filesystem so big with widoze’s ntfs. (other option is to create 1TB + 1TB + 1TB ntfs GPT partitions)

  2A: i know that an ext3 of 2TB on a MBR partition works ok for me. (1.8+ usable after formating)

3 - if you have both hardware pieces you can test before using it. One thing for sure is that the mbr partition scheme will not be useful (it has a hard limit size).

4 - don’t put anyting valuable in the drive for now, just copy some videos or music for testing each test. try (if you use windows) to format the partition with different ntfs options, if avaiable). do not format the wrong filesystem!


my enclosure is a nexstar cx, esata+usb2 and i found no issues with it (currently using a 2TB adv. fmt. green).

One question, are 2 Tb disks affected by this problem ? I’d like to get a 2 Tb disk with a case or a 2 Tb WD Elements case but not sure if will have problems or not.

Thanks.

No, it’s GREATER than 2TB, so 2TB is fine as long as that drive is not using Advance Formatting.

IIRC, some 2T drives should be reformatted before using them with the WD. You’ll have to search the forum for details (or try it out before you fill the drive with data).

Cocovanna

WHAT? That is more then frustrating. Im glad I dont yet have a large 3 gb drive like others here. But data curruption and loosing all your info = frustration? Their better be an immediate firmware to not even allow access to these drives so data loss does not happen. WOW. People use these external harddrives as their backup drives or as their only source of data storage.

This is a very seroius issue.

I am looking at the date of this post and see its about 2 months old and hope this situation is corrected but I am complelty floored by WD stance and responce here. I seroiusly hope WD is paying the restore cost here on peoples drives that were damaged here as a result.

Rather than taking the time to try this I would like to ask if splitting the 3tb drive into smaller partitions woujld make it useable?

Thanks for your reply

jlr

jlrippeth wrote:

Rather than taking the time to try this I would like to ask if splitting the 3tb drive into smaller partitions woujld make it useable?

 

Thanks for your reply

jlr

I believe that several people have successfully done that.

unfortunately, i found this community not before but after i connected a 3 TB WD-Drive with my newly bought media player. first, the drive has not been recognised by the player any more. When again connecting the drive with my notebook, i was really shocked when seeing, that Windows Explorer showed the drive with a sive of 678 GB instead of 3 TB. In addition, hundreds of my files were now zero kb-files! to make the storry even worst, this happend  to 2 TB drives to (size is shown correctly, but no files on the drive!).

having this in mind, i’d like to ask the WD-stuff for a more constructive answer than “formatting the drive” as stated on page 1 of this thread. What do i have to do to recover the files on my drives?

yours sincerely

mk

I woudn’t consider your network access much of a solution as it just does not seem to work.  I must say after being a proud consumer of WD hard drives I am so very upset that WD has sullied their once fine name with this piece of trash.  It has a flaky network connection, I have been dealing with an inability to access network shares for 5 months or so now, even had a WD technician remotely access my PC and begin uninstalling things to get it working, disabling media shares, uninstalling several programs including anti virus and still no solution to the network share problem. 

I realize that I am straying off topic here but I cannot help but be surprised by the WD response that the network access is a solution.  The only thing that works with this box is the access to windows media library, which I have been able to do just fine with my PS3 for several years now, and further more the PS3 is more reliable and does not drop network connections every time i scrool too fast down my library list.  The primary reason I bought the WDlive Plus was so that I could directly access network shares in order to be able to play files that are not included in the media libraries, (Eg. .mkv, .flac, as well as subtitle files like .srt etc…)  This feature only worked for about the first 2-3 weeks of having this device, it has been nothing but a head ache since.

In short I do not know what kind of Fisher Price network solution you have plastered on this device, I’m told this is a result in changes to the WIndows security protocol, I was also told several months ago that this would be addressed ina firmware release.  Well it has not happened yet.  **bleep** I couldn’t even get the shares seen from an XP machine.  And yet I’m able to access the shares with any other computer in our house including a Mac book.

I am quite upset at WD for putting such an unstable device out on the market, either fix this box and get it working right or stick to making hard drives.  From my experience this device has done nothing but ruin a once great brand name.

jakeman1075 wrote:

 

In short I do not know what kind of Fisher Price network solution you have plastered on this device, I’m told this is a result in changes to the WIndows security protocol, I was also told several months ago that this would be addressed ina firmware release.  Well it has not happened yet. 

It’s using SAMBA, which is an industry standard rock solid protocol suite.

The issue you’re referring to about a network sharing issue resolved via a firmware update WAS resolved in a firmware update quite a few months ago.

In short, if your network and servers are stable, the WD Live “Share” networking elements are rock solid.   I’ve been using the WD’s for over well over a year now, and the ONLY hiccups that ever happened was the “Windows Live Essentials” debacle that was corrected when WD upgraded to the most recent version of SAMBA available, and a bug in the Linksys E3000 which causes it to assume the role of Master Browser even when sharing is DISABLED, and it’s a role it doesn’t perform well at all.

So, I doubt that will help you.   But I can tell you from countless experiences helping other users here, it’s most likely a problem on your network…   This can be backed up by the dozens of frequent visitors here that also use the Network Share function with no issues at all.

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I’m sorry…  I don’t flame and am generally a reasonable guy on boards, but this is unconscionable.  Luckily for me I have a 2T elements drive which seems to be o.k., but I would be LIVID if I’ld set up gigs of data from a PC and plugged it into the HD only to have it permanently mangled.  No warning on the WDTV packaging?  No firmware safeguard to preempt ruining the partition… no foresight BEFORE the launch of at least the 3G WD drives?      I love this little unit, and have worked around it’s many eccentricities, but WOW!!!